Hugh Mutch and Eminent Shine in the $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix
Above photo: Hugh Mutch and Eminent
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Mackenzie Drazan and Waliba VDL Win the Interactive Mortgage U25 Qualifier
August 20, 2017 – San Juan Capistrano, CA – It was veteran show jumper Hugh “Bert” Mutch on his new ride, Eminent, who took the top prize in today’s $30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix. First to go in a field of 28 starters, and first to return in the jump-off, Mutch blazed to glory nearly two seconds faster than second place finishers Mavis Spencer and Olivia Pope.
Mutch began riding the 13-year-old mare for owner David Murdoch this past July. “She’s a clean, fast horse so my main thing is to stay out of her way,” said Mutch.
He gave a fair warning to the five riders that were to follow him in the jump-off. “I told everybody, if we’re clear, you’re not going to catch me!” And true to his word, the pair lit a blazing pace from the start, with Mutch guiding the speedy mare meticulously around his chosen track, in an untouchable 36.25.
Only in their second month as a team, this was Mutch and Eminent’s biggest win to date. Awards received include a pair of Roeckl Sports gloves, an embroidered SmartPak cooler, and an engraved pewter plate.Mutch plans to qualify Eminent for the Markel Insurance Grand Prix Finals at The Las Vegas National in November.
Mackenzie Drazan and Waliba VDL Win the $2,500 Interactive Mortgage U25 Qualifier
Two entries were impressive in both the Interactive Mortgage U25 Qualifier and the Markel Insurance Grand Prix, Mackenzie Drazan and Emma Waldfogel. Riding double clean and stopping the clock in 41.25 seconds, Drazan and Waliba VDL earned third place in the Markel Insurance Grand Prix and first place in the Interactive Mortgage U25 qualifier. Close on Drazan’s heels, Waldfogel piloted her new mount Diableur double clear in 42.45, earning fourth in the Grand Prix and second in the U25 class.
Drazan’s 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, Waliba VDL, known in the barn as “Libby,” is the “horse of a lifetime.” Affectionately described as a “fire breathing dragon,” the mare threw in a few bucks during the jump-off but maintained a quick pace. “She was on fire today. She just jumped her heart out and I’m really lucky to be riding her,” Drazan said.
An especially timely victory, Drazan heads back to Duke University next week for her final year, and the valuable points boost her chances of making the qualifying list for the Interactive Mortgage U25 Finals in Las Vegas this November.
As the Blenheim Summer Classic wraps up, the action moves down to Del Mar for the Showpark Summer Classic next week. Highlights include the Sallie B. Wheeler USEF National Hunter Breeding Championships, the CPHA Foundation Equitation Finals, a $25,000 Markel Insurance 1.40m Grand Prix and the $50,000 Grand Prix of Showpark.
$30,000 Markel Insurance Grand Prix
Place – Entry Number – Horse – Rider – Owner – Faults/Time